Whether you’re dreaming about cruising around in your first new ride or are already a proud vehicle owner, it’s no secret that mobility can be expensive. But never fear — the GM College Discount Program* is here to help, with insights and tips that can help save you money throughout your ownership experience. Three areas of opportunity include the way you buy, maintain and drive your vehicle.
WHEN IT COMES TO THE PURCHASE PROCESS, YOU’RE IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT.
Do your homework. Take the time to research what’s available in your price range and determine the type of vehicle and features that are right for you. Go for a test-drive. Then compare prices among dealers and let their competition for your business get you the best deal.
Line up your funds. Financing your vehicle through the dealership is certainly one way to go. But you have options: check out online financing companies and your local bank or credit union. You could end up saving a great deal of money.
Make a down payment. Even a modest down payment can save you big dollars over the life of a loan. It will help lower the amount of principal you owe, thereby reducing your monthly payments.
Score a discount. If you’re in college, a graduate program or a recent grad, the GM College Discount Program can save you hundreds ¬— even thousands — on an eligible, new Chevrolet**, Buick or GMC vehicle. Plus, you can combine it with most current GM offers to save even more. It’s the best college discount from any car company. See for yourself at gmcollegediscount.com.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR VEHICLE AND IT WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU.
A properly maintained vehicle will be more fuel-efficient, safer, more dependable, produce fewer emissions, help you avoid costly repairs and retain its value better. If you’re not a do-it-yourselfer, it’s important to find someone you can trust for service. With all the advanced technology found in today’s vehicles, the factory-trained technicians at your dealer are always a good place to start.
Pump it up. Underinflated tires reduce fuel efficiency by up to 5% due to increased rolling resistance. They also wear out faster, which could create a safety hazard for you and others on the road.
Let it breathe. Your engine relies on a constant flow of clean air to operate. Simply replacing a dirty air filter can improve fuel economy by up to 10%.
Keep the spark alive. Whether your engine has four, six, eight or sixteen spark plugs, they can fire as many as three million times every 100 miles or so. Checking and replacing them when worn is a key part of ensuring efficient engine performance.
Go with the flow. Fuel filters keep debris from entering and damaging the high-tech engines in today’s vehicles. These systems often operate at high pressure, so filter replacement is best left to the pros.
DRIVE IT LIKE YOU OWN IT.
Another effective way to save is by paying attention to the way you drive. Here are a few tips to make every trip greener, while leaving a little green in your pocket.
Slow down and save. A small decrease in driving speed can have a big effect on your fuel budget. For example: every 10 mph faster you drive reduces fuel economy by about
4 MPG, regardless of vehicle size.
Lighten your load. Avoid driving around with unnecessary cargo in your vehicle. An extra 100 lbs. can reduce your fuel efficiency by as much as 2%.
Make a list. Your vehicle’s engine runs more efficiently once it has warmed up. By combining errands, you’ll reduce the number of individual trips you have to make, saving time, fuel and money.
Don’t sit idly by. An idling engine burns about a gallon of gasoline every hour. It also produces twice as much exhaust emissions as a car in motion and is much harder on your engine.
The vehicle care and driving tips provided here are intended to help you get the most out of your vehicle ownership experience. Figures quoted are averages based on the findings of a number of independent research agencies. Actual fuel consumption rates will vary according to vehicle type and driving conditions.
*Eligible participants for the GM College Discount include college students (from any two- or four-year school), recent graduates who have graduated no more than two years ago, and current nursing school and graduate students.
** Excludes Chevrolet Volt.